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Oakwood choir returns to Huntsville after deadly crash

The students were welcomed at the airport with applause and hugs from their loved ones.

Posted: May 8, 2019 11:18 AM
Updated: May 8, 2019 12:10 PM

The last group of Oakwood University choir students who were involved in a deadly crash in California are now returning to Huntsville. WAAY 31 was there at the airport when the students stepped off the plane. Students were cheered on as they walked through the airport last night and families rejoiced as they finally got to see their loved ones in person again.

"Finally I get to see her face because it's one thing to hear the voice and we had moments on the phone where she cried and really shared her feelings about it, but to see her face and to know she made it back home, it was exciting," said mother, Tamara Young

Families welcomed members of the Oakwood University choir home Tuesday night. People hugged and cried, thankful each student is alive.

"I look up and I'm watching and I'm like, 'alright, we don't have enough time to stop,' and I realized there was a collision ahead and it was really acceptance that we were going to have impact," said choir member, Samara Bowden

The choir was in San Francisco to perform last weekend. As they left the airport Saturday morning, their charter bus was involved in a fiery crash that turned deadly.

"It was slowly being engulfed in flames. I see the car behind completely in flames and I was literally in my mind just hoping no one was dead," said Bowden.

All 18 choir members exited the bus with only minor injuries, while the driver of another car, died.

"I was just overwhelmed with worry. I was like, 'man, did we actually kill somebody? Is somebody not going to go home tonight?'" said Bowden.

Even though the group was overwhelmed with emotion, they gathered the strength and performed Sunday at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco.

"It's been extremely difficult and tough, but they've weathered the storm like true champions," said choir manager, Vilroy McBean.

The choir members who are already back, said they are happy to be home. The choir said they will continue to travel and perform in future years.

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